3. Belle & Sebastian (UPDATE: moved to number 4)
This tender Glaswegian troupe (with the exception of Richard, who still technically lives in Perth) has released some of what I consider to be the best pop music in history throughout their 1.5 decades. They are deserving of far more praise that I am able to adequately express. Although I might have been initially reluctant toward some, I have yet to ultimately be disappointed by a Belle & Sebastian release. While their latest records have generally stepped up a notch in tempo and production (leaving some ‘purist’ fans with a feeling of alienation), their exceptional songwriting remains.
Be a child, be an adult, go to college, get a job, fall in love, fall out of love, lose your faith just to gain it back – Belle & Sebastian suits all of life’s circumstances. Two of their records can be found on my Top 50 Albums list: Tigermilk (1996) and the greatly underrated Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant (2000).
Make sure to keep your eyes and ears open for their upcoming release, Belle and Sebastian Write About Love, which will be available on 11 October in the UK and the following day in North America.
‘The Boy With the Arab Strap’ from the 1998 album of the same name, live on Later…with Jools Holland in 2001:
‘I Want the World to Stop’ from the forthcoming Belle and Sebastian Write About Love:
(I must brag that I was actually present at this video recording.)